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Old 07-30-2007, 04:10 PM
 
Location: This is Islanders Country
289 posts, read 726,659 times
Reputation: 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glad2bhere View Post
The $350 was for Flood in Flood zone x, not home.
Hey, no problem, I knew as soon as I saw that $350 figure that it couldn't possibly be for homeowners.

BUT my post/list of current underwriting guidelines is for HOMEOWNERS insurance, which is what's causing and going to cause more major problems for people buying homes in the shoreline communities from now on. Can't close on a house without at least homeowners insurance, unless you're paying cash AND are incredibly stupid if planning on being totally uninsured.

All of those companies on my list are required to offer the FEMA/NFIP flood insurance to anyone who applies, just like you said. But they're not required to offer homeowners insurance to everyone. FEMA/NFIP is government sponsored (underwritten). Homeowners policies are private-sector, not government, and each company can write whatever rules for what they'll insure and what they won't insure.

People mistakenly think that when they buy flood insurance through Travelers or State Farm or Liberty Mutual or whoever, that they're insured BY that company. Not so. The program is run by FEMA and is underwritten (insured) by FEMA. The various companies are only acting as agents -- placing the coverage and collecting the premiums. They're only the middleman between the insured and FEMA. When you have a loss, it doesn't come out of Travelers' pocket, it comes out of the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) which is part of FEMA. Not Travelers or whoever. So placing flood insurance is no risk for Travelers, State Farm, Liberty, etc at all.

Travelers' homeowners policy is underwritten by THEM, and that's why they aren't writing any more new ones. They don't want to assume any more risk than they already have got here on LI.

Is that waterfront house one that you're thinking of buying? If so, good luck getting affordable homeowners insurance for it.

Last edited by Keeper; 03-19-2008 at 02:14 PM.. Reason: name change
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:32 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Upstate NY!
12,244 posts, read 15,950,002 times
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Could a Katrina situation even be possible on LI? I know that a storm of that magnitude is possible, but let's not forget that most of the damage done in New Orleans was due to the levees breaking and the fact that the city was built in a cereal bowl-like structure, and below sea level. LI is not separated from surrounding water by cement walls, and I'm not aware of any place on LI being situated below sea level. Sure, rains and storm waves will bring water inland, but will quickly subside, no? There's a huge difference in outcome between everyone's basement being filled with water (LI) and houses being completely covered up and over the roof (New Orleans).
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:54 AM
 
Location: NJ/NY
10,525 posts, read 10,598,286 times
Reputation: 2623
Quote:
Originally Posted by Glad2bhere View Post
This is not true. I just spoke with them the other day about a quote for waterfront property in LI, and they told me that they do not deny coverage to any house on LI at all, due to FEMA rules.
I literally got a quote for a house directly on the water that was in a Flood zone X and they quoted only $350 due to way the house was built and the flood zone location.

But I was assured they could not deny coverage, the policy just might be pricier.

ETA - FLOOD quote was $350. Not home.
I just got my homeowners insurance through Travellers, and I am 3 houses from the water.

flood ins. $350, yearly homeowners $1k

Last edited by Keeper; 03-19-2008 at 02:14 PM.. Reason: name change
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:59 AM
 
549 posts, read 1,468,309 times
Reputation: 89
Allstate would not renew my policy due to weather realated issues, but the truth was that I did not have my car insurance with them, that is why they cancelled.

I switched to Liberty Mutual and got a better rate. Thank you Allstate
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:09 AM
 
Location: This is Islanders Country
289 posts, read 726,659 times
Reputation: 112
Quote:
Originally Posted by jfkIII View Post
Could a Katrina situation even be possible on LI? I know that a storm of that magnitude is possible, but let's not forget that most of the damage done in New Orleans was due to the levees breaking and the fact that the city was built in a cereal bowl-like structure, and below sea level. LI is not separated from surrounding water by cement walls, and I'm not aware of any place on LI being situated below sea level. Sure, rains and storm waves will bring water inland, but will quickly subside, no? There's a huge difference in outcome between everyone's basement being filled with water (LI) and houses being completely covered up and over the roof (New Orleans).
The South Shore of LI is just at sea level. This map and article about the storm surge has some good illustrations:

Long Island Storm Surge Maps

Houses here aren't built to withstand the combination of hurricane winds and the kind of water level that a major hurricane would bring to coastal communities. Most house foundations top out at 2 ft or less above grade. If a coastal community gets a 9 ft storm surge, that's almost the entire first floor. Combine that with hurricane force winds causing structural damage and you probably don't have a livable house left.

Last fall we had 11 days of rain and most people on the South Shore had from 1 to 3 ft of water in their basements and crawl spaces (I had 2'4" in mine) for days because there was no place for it to go (high water table, ground is saturated). And that wasn't even a hurricane.

A few recent quotes from LIPA and the NY Times:

From LIPA:

"Massive island-wide destruction would result from a Category 3 hurricane largely due to extremely high winds, prolonged ground-soaking rains, and a huge tidal surge that could flood the south shore of Long Island as far inland as Sunrise Highway as well as numerous north shore communities.

“A category three hurricane would devastate Long Island,” said LIPA Chairman Richard M. Kessel. “In addition to the damage that would be caused to the Island’s electric system, residential homes and commercial buildings would sustain significant wind damage, coastal areas would be flooded with large structures damaged by floating debris, and flooding would occur well inland according to storm-surge projections."

October 2006 report published in the NY Times:

"A Florida International University study reports a list of the sites most vulnerable to a major hurricane. Not surprising is that New Orleans is number one. The Lake Okeechobee **** rebuilt during Hoover's administration is number two. Last time it broke (1928), it drowned 2,500 people. If it broke today, 40,000 would be in danger, according to press stories about the study.

Most interesting to Northeasterners is the listing of Long Island, New York as number 8 on the list. Since the 1938 hurricane, property values along the island's sandy south shore have skyrocketed. Losses from another hurricane like that in 1938 would be "astronomical," according to Stephen P. Leatherman, who directs the International Hurricane Research Center at Florida International University. ("Surprises in a New Tally of Areas Vulnerable to Hurricanes" - New York Times)
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:20 AM
 
Location: This is Islanders Country
289 posts, read 726,659 times
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A local independent insurance agent (longtime, not a newcomer) has posted a couple of interesting blogs this month:

"Coastal Homeowners Insurance: Has it Stopped Getting Worse?"
Long Island Blog - Long Island, New York: Coastal Homeowners Insurance - Has it stopped getting worse?

The more recent one, "A New Hurricane Season" posted July 11th, contains this news:

"The market for homeowners insurance on Long Island is continuing to change. This past week we had our first call from someone who's being canceled by State Farm. They were told that State Farm is canceling people within a half mile of the water. I had heard that they stopped writing new business within a half-mile of the South Shore of Long Island but not that they were canceling anybody.

I say this not to pick on State Farm in any way. I happen to think they are a pretty good company, and they are the biggest in auto and home insurance. Unfortunately, I just point it out to show what is happening in the Suffolk County and overall Long Island insurance marketplace. Even the largest insurance carriers do not have the capacity to absorb the business being shed by their competitors."

Interesting article. The full text is here:

Long Island Blog - Long Island, New York: A New Hurricane Season
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Old 07-31-2007, 09:36 AM
 
Location: Beautiful Upstate NY!
12,244 posts, read 15,950,002 times
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Thanks for the info 4Stanley. I know that LI has become quite built up over the years, which would certainly devistate it economically. Just being curious here...has LI ever experienced a hurricane of the magnitude you speak of? I was living on the North Shore when Gloria hit in 1985. We were without power for 11 straight days! I just remember heading into work in such a depressed state from having to sponge bathe with water heated from a propane bbq stove and people there (whose power had come back on 9 days previously) not being able to relate to (i.e., feel the pain of) 11 days without it.

From a geographical standpoint, I just wonder what the feasibility of a hurricane hitting ALL of LI is? Most just pass over a part of the island, right? Also, I wonder what are the chances of a hurricane making landfall directly on LI. Those warm gulf waters sure escalated Katrina after it cut over FL.

Please don't get me wrong here...I'm not arguing that it can't happen, but rather am curious as to the likelihood? If you can find in your research when the last time a category 2 or 3 hit LI, it would be interesting to know to compare how LI is built up today, and how it was built up then.

Last edited by jfkIII; 07-31-2007 at 10:06 AM..
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Old 07-31-2007, 03:12 PM
 
Location: This is Islanders Country
289 posts, read 726,659 times
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The last major hurricane to hit LI was the "Long Island Express" aka the Great Hurricane of 1938. From SUNY's website at The Great Hurricane of 1938 - The Long Island Express :

" Later that day, the greatest weather disaster ever to hit Long Island and New England struck in the form of a category 3 hurricane. Long Island, New York and New England were changed forever by the Long Island Express.

The immediate effect of this powerful hurricane was to decimate many Long Island communities in terms of human and economic losses, however, the long term effects linger today. The '38 Hurricane created the Shinnecock Inlet and widened Moriches Inlet which, to this day, are changing the landscape of the south shore due to their influence on the natural littoral sand transport. History has shown that these powerful storms are rare but do in fact occur with long-term frequency. Case studies have shown that the next time a storm like the Long Island Express roars through, it might be the greatest disaster in U.S. history."

"August 19, 1991, Hurricane Bob (category 2) brushed the eastern tip of Long Island and moved into southeastern New England. Because most of Long Island was on the western side of the storm, winds were category 1 strength and the storm surge was minimal."

"September 27, 1985, Hurricane Gloria (category 2*) moved across the center of Long Island causing much tree damage and beach erosion. In informal surveys, most people believe that this was a "major hurricane" in the category 3 class when in fact it was a moderate category 2 event. Therefore, there is a misguided sense that Long Island can withstand "strong" hurricanes with only minor inconveniences because few have ever experienced a major hurricane.
*Hurricane category is typically assigned based on the maximum sustained wind speed. Gloria hit Long Island with a maximum sustained wind speed of 85 mph which meant it was officially assigned to category 1. However, due to the rapid forward speed of the storm, winds to the east of the eye were 110+ mph which would place Gloria as a category 2 storm. Therefore, Hurricane Gloria is now officially considered a category 2 storm. "

Obviously the Long Island of 1938 was far less built up than we are today. It also hit more toward the eastern end of the island (South Fork) rather than a densely populated area such as say, today's Nassau (Massapequa) and Suffolk (the Islips).

All the weather experts agree that statistically a major storm hits New England approximately every 70 years or so. It's been 69 years since the Long Island Express so we get more "due" for one with each passing summer.

"Some of the key observations from the storm surge maps for Nassau and Suffolk Counties:
* Category 1 hurricanes inundate just about all of the immediate south shore of the Island, including the north side of Great South Bay locations and both sides of the north and south forks.
* Montauk Highway (RT. 27A) is completely covered by flood waters during a Category 3 hurricane. Therefore, this road would be considered impassable during the storm.
* The highest storm surges (Category 4) would occur in the following regions:
Amityville Harbor - 29 feet
Atlantic Beach & Long Beach areas - 24 to 28 feet
South Oyster Bay, Middle Bay, & East Bay areas - 24 to 28 feet
* Montauk Point is completely cut off from rest of south fork during a category 1 storm.
* Much of the north and south forks are entirely under water during a category 3 hurricane.

The scenario is even scarier for Manhattan (from the same SUNY page):

"Experts now believe that after Miami and New Orleans, New York City is considered the third most dangerous major city for the next hurricane disaster. According to a 1990 study by the US Army Corps of Engineers, the city has some unique and potentially lethal features. New York's major bridges such as the Verrazano Narrows and the George Washington are so high that they would experience hurricane force winds well before those winds were felt at sea-level locations. Therefore, these escape routes would have to be closed well before ground-level bridges (Time, 1998). The two ferry services across the Long Island Sound would also be shut down 6-12 hours before the storm surge invaded the waters around Long Island, further decreasing the potential for evacuation."

"A storm surge prediction program used by forecasters called SLOSH (Sea, Lake, and Overland Surge from Hurricanes) has predicted that in a category 4 hurricane, John F. Kennedy International Airport would be under 20 feet of water and sea water would pour through the Holland and Brooklyn-Battery tunnels and into the city's subways throughout lower Manhattan. The report did not estimate casualties, but did state that storms "that would present low to moderate hazards in other regions of the country could result in heavy loss of life" in the New York City area (Time, 1998)."

Unless the hurricane was the size of Katrina the flooding won't directly affect ALL of LI which is 100 miles long, but the winds can be actually worse on the "back side" of a hurricane. The collateral damage from the winds can be amazing (pieces of buildings become "weapons" of Mother Nature!).

I was on the south shore when Gloria hit. We were without power for 9 days, then it came back on for 3 days, then went out again for another 5 days. I remember that because the day the power went out the second time was my birthday. :-( Hey, at least we had all those extra candles from the cake! LOL

An entire fridge and spare freezers worth of food got ruined, hot water was the Holy Grail, and you couldn't buy a chainsaw or generator anywhere on LI after day 2 for love, money, or your firstborn child....
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Old 07-31-2007, 06:09 PM
 
Location: Little Babylon
3,542 posts, read 4,160,019 times
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Does LI have any hurricane evacuation routes, or is that just a totally pointless effort?
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Old 08-01-2007, 03:07 AM
 
1,768 posts, read 3,834,090 times
Reputation: 442
Quote:
Originally Posted by NY - Dallas View Post
Allstate would not renew my policy due to weather realated issues, but the truth was that I did not have my car insurance with them, that is why they cancelled.

I switched to Liberty Mutual and got a better rate. Thank you Allstate

Allstate cancelled us 4 years ago when we bought our house, before we even closed on our house. Stupidly sent the cancellation to the home we were purchasing, which we did not wind up getting the notice until our walk through and had to then scramble for insurance on our closing day.

Why? B/c some of the sidewalk slabs were lifted due to tree roots. Allstate sucks, they look for ANY reason to cancel policies. A friend of ours was cancelled for something ridiculous too.

I cannot speak badly enough about Allstate, good riddance Allstate.
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